Chapter 7 continues the story of Gideon.
Gideon started out with 22,000 men who were ready to fight the Mideonites. God told Gideon that there were too many. First, He told Gideon to tell them to go home if they were afraid. Gideon did, and 12,000 men went home. But, God said that 10,000 were still too many. He told Gideon to have the men drink from the river. Whoever lapped the water, like a dog, were to stay. The rest were to go home. Gideon was left with just 300 men, after that. God told him that he had enough men, and to go win the battle.
Gideon won that battle, by surrounding the camp of the Midians, with his 300 men. They waited till night. The 300 men began to make a loud racket, they had lamps shining all around the camp, and they began to shout, "The sword of the Lord, and Gideon!". The Mideonites were so terrified, they went crazy. They started killing each other in their confusion and terror.
Chapter 8, verses 22&23: "Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.
And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you."
The Israelites wanted Gideon to be their King, but Gideon told them to remember that God was their King.
Chapter 11 contains a story that has always amazed me. It is the story of Jephthah and his daughter.
Jephthah was asked to help fight the Children of Ammon. He made a promise to God in verses 30&31: "...If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."
Jephthah won the battle, went home, and verses 34&35 says: "...and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
...when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! Thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back."
Jephthah's daughter told him that if he'd promised God, then he'd have to do as he promised. But, she asked if he would allow her to go to the mountains and mourn the fact that she was never to marry. Jephthah allowed her to go for two months, and when she came back, he did as he'd promised God, and gave her to Him for a burnt offering.
I always have felt sorry for Jephthah, for having to to do as he did. But, I also want to tell him, that if he'd just been more specific, he'd never have had to do it.
Yet, I have always admired his daughter's courage. She knew what her father was going to do to her, when she returned from the mountians. She didn't go and hide and never return. She came back, so her father could fulfill his promise to God.
The next chapters are 1 Corinthians 12-16.